As the Ohio River rises, businesses are forced to close

Heavy rain Saturday is causing the Ohio River to rise.
Heavy rain Saturday is causing the Ohio River to rise.
Updated: Feb. 24, 2019 at 7:47 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Flooding along the Ohio River isn’t out of the ordinary after rain--and some say the flooding right now isn’t that bad.

“I mean, this basically is about what you get right here,” resident Joseph Ritchie, who lives near the river, said.

Sandbags outside a building on River Road.
Sandbags outside a building on River Road.

As the Ohio River starts to rise again, businesses like Captains Quarters and Cunningham’s Creekside are forced to close.

Empty parking lots, stacked furniture and sandbags surround the building.

“It went down, and then the last two days it seem like at a nowhere it just came back up," Ritchie said.

Joseph Ritchie has been watching the river levels from above. Ritchie uses his drone to capture images of the highs and lows of the river.

“I’ve been flying it down to the bridge trying to get some pictures seeing what it’s like from there,” Ritchie said.

He said this isn’t as bad as it has been.

“The last one was probably a year ago and it went all the way up to a second story. About a mile from here,” Ritchie said. “Other than that it’s usually, I mean this basically is about what you get right here. It’ll flood this road on River Road and that’s usually about it.”

Ted Funk is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. He said last year, the river was 12 ½ feet above flood stage.

“It was well inland from the river. I mean, River Road was inundated," Funk said. "Of course, great lawn and everything next to the river was just total flood I mean it looks like part of the river it was so deep.”

“This year, it’s going to reach only 2½ [feet] over flood stage. Still a flood, but certainly not in comparison to last year,” Funk said.

After Saturday’s rain, the main focus is the high winds.

“When you have that kind of wind and a saturated ground that we have with all the rain you really need to be careful that you don’t have trees uprooted so really be careful when you’re out there not only driving but also in your nearby trees. We don’t want anything to happen to people," Funk said.

As the waters continue to rise over the next few days, Funk stressed the importance of “not driving through any roads covered in water-- no matter what kind of car you have.”

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